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Putting the Social in Social Media

Instagram app open on smart phone thats sitting on an open notebook

Many times when working with companies looking for social media support, the conversation tends to lean toward how to cast the widest net or how to get new followers, impressions, reach, etc. However, in today’s social media world it is harder than ever for businesses to make a splash in the never-ending content shared every minute. That’s why it is important to narrow your focus and target a small, yet important, audience–your employees.

The sheer number of pieces of content shared every minute on social media is astounding. For example, just on Facebook alone, people share 1.3 million pieces of content every minute. As a result, Facebook, and other social media platforms, has shifted to a “pay to play” model. While this makes it difficult for small businesses to compete for space against global corporations, it forces companies and marketers to really delve down to determine what content is truly unique to their brand with the power and community interest to cut through the noise.

Here at Insight, we shifted from curating industry topics to really sitting down with each of our clients’ brands and treating it as a human being. This exercise resembles having a genuine conversation with a friend asking things like “What’s going on in your life this month?” “What are you celebrating?” “What are you frustrated with?” “How is the current state of your industry affecting you?” After working through these types of conversational questions each month, both internally and with our clients, the theme that continues to rise to the top is the daily happenings involving the people in the organization.

One of our clients, River Valley Bank, takes this approach very seriously. A large part of their brand identity is emphasizing personal relationships between employees and customers and going above and beyond to provide incredible customer service. To showcase this genuine customer appreciation, we created a “River Valley Experience” feature page on their website to bring all of the daily interactions at all 15 locations to life. The page is populated by content shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #RiverValleyExperience. This “digital scrapbook” page highlights the real-life stories River Valley Bank employees, customers and community members experience every day.

River Valley Bank Experience

Matthews Tire is another one of our clients committed to connecting their employees to their social media platforms. Utilizing an internal incentive program, Matthews Tire rewards employees when they capture behind-the-scenes content for social media. Sharing things like customer appreciation stories, photos of vintage cars, employee birthdays, wedding anniversaries, birth announcements and even international trips have all been successful in strengthening the employee/customer relationship. Many of Matthews Tire’s customers have been bringing their cars in for decades and they truly enjoy sharing in the daily celebrations of the employees they have come to know and love.

While it may be a tough transition to think about your company as a person, and you may think that the small things happening around you aren’t social media-worthy, the reward is worth the conversation. When you focus on engaging a small section of your audience (the employees and customers who truly know you) you’ll find they enjoy celebrating the day-to-day with you. It is important to let the public in and share life from your business’ perspective because in the end, the reason your customers currently work with you is because of their relationships with your employees. So why not make them the focus of your social media content?